Vigilant Aerospace Systems, Inc. has released a list of all commercial drones currently available in the US market that have the flight and communications range to be flown beyond line-of-sight (BVLOS), including some aircraft with ranges of many miles. As the FAA begins to consider and issue waivers to commercial drone flyers for beyond line-of-sight flight under the new Part 107.200 rule, Vigilant Aerospace expects the demand for these powerful new aircraft to soar.
“We believe that the future of unmanned aircraft in the US has arrived, and only a few obstacles remain for full commercial adoption and use of drones for routine long-range commercial and industrial work,” said Kraettli L. Epperson, CEO and co-founder of Vigilant Aerospace.
“One of those obstacles is access to drones with the range, command and control capability and payload to do useful work. Our new list is designed to help overcome this obstacle. The other barrier is access to effective, well-tested detect-and-avoid systems that meet FAA requirements. We bridge that gap with our FlightHorizon product, which provides detect-and-avoid capabilities to prevent collisions for piloted or fully autonomous drones, and helps operators to obtain a beyond line-of-sight waiver from the FAA,” said Epperson.
US-based Vigilant Aerospace Systems is an industry-leading provider of flight management and safety systems for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Their solutions have been developed by NASA and are designed to comply with FAA performance standards. The company’s avionics software platform, FlightHorizonTM, is based on an exclusively licensed NASA patent and provides situational awareness, synthetic cockpit views, collision avoidance and other flight information to enable integration of commercial drones into the national airspace.
Vigilant Aerospace is providing and maintaining the list as a free, complementary resource to support the emerging commercial drone industry. The list includes for each drone the manufacturer, model, aircraft type, intended purpose, weight, maximum speed, endurance, length, wingspan, maximum take-off weight, maximum payload, remote range, approximate price and a link to the aircraft on the manufacturer’s website. The list can be downloaded at the Vigilant Aerospace website.
“The US market needs flight safety systems and resources to help businesses integrate drones into their core business operations. The only barriers preventing companies from being able to take full advantage of drones right now is knowledge about the available solutions and authorization to fly beyond line-of- sight. Our goal is to rapidly bridge those gaps and enable the full potential of commercial drones,” said Epperson.
“We are currently working with clients who are doing surveying and monitoring of both critical infrastructure and the natural environment worldwide using a variety of long-endurance drones, so we are integrating our detect-and-avoid system into a wide array of autopilots and unmanned platforms,” Epperson tells DRONELIFE. “Demand for these platforms, with these capabilities, is growing rapidly, so creating a list of drones that are capable of beyond line-of-sight flight was a natural next step.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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